BenQ GS50 Ruggedized Portable 1080P Projector Review - Performance

September 15, 2021 / By Project Reviews Staff

COLOR REPRODUCTION

The images above provide a general idea of color accuracy. However, when viewing in person, the colors would most likely look much better than how the photos look on the display of the device you are using to read this review. I will note that, like many of the other BenQ projectors, the GS50’s color reproduction was pretty good out of the box.

The GS50 has optimized picture modes powered by CinematicColor and 97% Rec.709 wide color gamut for accurate color. BenQ states, “BenQ CinematicColor offers theatrical viewing without compromise. Professional-level color performance makes your content look its best and retain cinematic quality, even in outdoor environments.” It is worth noting that BenQ claims to ensure color accuracy for all of its CinematicColors projectors.

For this review, I connected a 4K Apple TV with a 20-inch (0.5 meters) Bullet Train 18Gbps HDMI cable and a MacBook Pro with a 157-inch (4 meters) Bullet Train 18Gbps HDMI cable to the BenQ QS50, just as I do for most of my reviews. I use the same devices repeatedly in my reviews to connect to my demo projectors to minimize image and sound quality variables.

Pressing the Projector Menu button on the remote will show an option for Picture Mode. Picture Mode has six picture mode presets. The six preset modes are labeled Bright, Living Room, Sports, Cinema, Day Time, and Camp Fire. In addition, HDR10 and HLG are also picture modes, but they are not selectable; the projector automatically switches to HDR10 or HLG whenever the projector senses the metadata for them. The six preset picture modes can also be adjusted for brightness, contrast, color, sharpness, and color temperature to suit your personal liking.

BRIGHTNESS

BenQ rates the brightness of the GS50 at 500 ANSI lumens. The GS50 was more than bright enough in the environments I brought it into while at home and while traveling.

To measure the brightness, I set the projector’s Power Mode to Normal and its Picture Mode to Bright, which is the projector’s brightest mode. I then took 3-4 readings about 15-20% out from the center of the lens.

Bright mode on the GS50 measured 419 ANSI lumens. I measured all six available picture modes; my measurements are below.

 BenQ GS50 Projector Settings Brightness

Picture ModeBrightness (ANSI Lumens)
Bright419
Living Room261
Sports263
Cinema265
Day Time250
Camp Fire264

We are pleased that BenQ rates their LED projector’s brightness in ANSI Lumens. Unfortunately, many manufacturers have begun using the term “LED lumens,” which is not a universal measurement standard, making it more difficult for end-users to compare brightness between brands.

While the BenQ GS50 measured 419 ANSI lumens at its brightest, which is lower than its rated brightness, it is bright for a portable projector.  Just remember that LED projectors do appear brighter than their measured ANSI lumens would indicate. The GS50 should be bright enough for 55-inch to 100-inch screens in most darkened environments. 

PICTURE QUALITY

The BenQ GS50 picture quality was good out of the box. Switching between the six picture modes presets significantly alters the on-screen image. I preferred Cinema and Living Room for my picture mode and left the Power Mode on Normal. I did adjust the Cinema’s and Living Room’s brightness, contrast, color, sharpness, and color to suit the numerous viewing environments I had the projector.

Overall, the picture quality of the GS50 was good, especially for a portable projector. In addition, skin tones were good, and the overall color accuracy was good.

SOUND QUALITY

Sound by treVolo

BenQ and treVolo go hand in hand, and BenQ has once again utilized treVolo for the built-in speakers. The GS50’s built-in 2.1 channel audio system features speakers by treVolo; two 5-watt midrange tweeters, and one 10-watt woofer. BenQ literature toggles between stating the woofer is a 10-watt woofer and an 8-watt woofer; my ears could not hear a 2-watt difference in any direction. BenQ says, “The ported cabinet design creates more output at low frequencies to deliver cinematic sound effects.” As a result, the end-user can hear more details with uncompromised, immersive sound. The GS50 has four unique sound modes labeled as Standard, Cinema, Music, and Sports. BenQ also states, “Sound Mode utilizes sound enhancement technology, which incorporates Waves’ algorithms to deliver great effects of the bass and treble and provide you with an immersive cinematic audio experience.”

The GS50 was able to be played at a volume louder than I would want to listen to while watching a movie indoors. In most outdoor situations, you will not be short on quality sound with the GS50 unless there’s an unreasonable amount of ambient sound around you.

AUDIBLE NOISE

While we do not measure audible noise, we do measure fan noise. I measured the fan noise produced by the GS50 at 29dB and 35dB. I placed the Picture Mode on Cinema and the Power Mode on Normal and Low Power for the fan noise measurements. Normal had the highest dB reading, and Low Power had the lowest dB reading. I could hear the GS50 fans slightly as I watched movies and shows about six feet to the rear of the projector, but the fans were not distracting.

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GAMING

I ran numerous games on my PlayStation and Xbox on the GS50. The games I tested on the GS50 played fine, including my usual Elder Scrolls Online (ESO), Genshin Impact, and Overwatch. As usual, my daughter helped me out with the gaming photographs. She played the games as I took the photographs. She reported that she did not experience any issues with input lag. I also did not experience any significant input lag while I played games on the projector.

The GS50 would be an excellent addition for casual gamers looking for a portable projector with a built-in battery. BenQ states 1080p@60Hz input lag (signal lag) is at 62 milliseconds. But as I said, simple gameplay was not hampered by excessive input lag.


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